Yesterday I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. My appointment was at 9:15 AM, and I arrived at 8:45 expecting to stand in line, but the site was so efficient I had the shot in my arm by 9:00. My overall experience was similar to my previous visit. The staff was friendly and helped make the walk through a bureaucratic maze easy, and their dedication to the work remains commendable. When someone ahead of me asked what effect our recent snow storm had on the site, one woman said, “We had to close, people just couldn’t get here.” When the follow up came about what that meant for people who had appointments she responded, “We got them in as best we could, and opened up extra hours. Whatever it takes.” It was good to see. If sites around the state are operating like this, what’s holding us back right now is a lack of available vaccine more than anything else. The roll out has been chaotic, to be certain, but I expect it to ramp up.
My immune response was a somewhat stronger than my first shot. My arm was a bit more sore, but that’s almost gone as of this morning and didn’t hamper my movement yesterday. I did get a sizable headache yesterday afternoon, and that’s hanging on a bit, but even that wasn’t too bad. My body was achey when I went to bed last night, but this morning I woke up and that had faded as well. We’ll see what the day brings for continued reactions. At present I’ve got some neck stiffness, that’s it. And, again, this is my experience. I’ve got some friends who were laid out for a day and then bounced back. For the record, I’d have been fine with that.
One of the things I’m most glad about is the support I’ve gotten from folks in Central’s community. I was inclined to wait to get my shot, even though pastors were invited to receive the vaccine, just so folks who were in more at risk groups could get vaccinated first. It was folks among my circle of friends, and especially Central’s community, who convinced me otherwise. And their joy when I shared news of my second dose being received, even though many folks have yet to get an appointment for themselves, filled me with gratitude. It’s moments like that which remind me I have friends, instead of just colleagues. And a community, rather than people who tolerate being near each other.
When the two weeks it takes for my immunity to build up pass I’m going to feel a bit more free to pursue some in-person 1 pastoral care. I remain cautious about entering homes, since there’s not a ton of data about vaccinated people being able to spread CoVid-19, but I do want to be able to see people. There are also some lunches and coffee chats set up with other pastors who are similarly vaccinated–it’s been a long year, and this is something I just need for myself. As part of my active care for the community, I’m looking at setting up times where people can come to the church building so I can help them find a vaccination appointment. I’ve not been to the police station as a chaplain in almost a year and, even though I’ll still be holding back on doing ride-alongs, it will be good to go in and remind the officers that I’m still around if I’m needed. Being seen is important.
And maybe I’ll take my mask off to preach, since folks are way far away from the podium in the sanctuary 2.